"The word on the street" is an English idiom that basically means "rumors".

The word on the street is that Bob's going to be fired.

I was wondering if there was a similar Chinese idiom.

6 Answers 6

  1. "流言" (liú yán)

    一时间 流言 四起,亚洲陷入困境,资金加速流出,这些国家的本土银行纷纷倒闭。

    Once the rumor got started that Asia was in trouble, these people started withdrawing their money faster and faster and it caused failures of domestic banks in these countries.

  2. "谣言" (yáo yán)

    布莱尔,如果你真的,编造了丹·汉弗瑞和那个老师的 谣言 ,她可以告你诽谤。

    Blair,if you started that rumor About Dan Humphrey and the teacher, She has a legitimate case for slander.

  3. "小道消息" (xiǎo dào xiāo xī)

    这些 小道消息 被当作一派胡言而一笑置之。

    These rumors are regarded as nonsense and laugh at them.

  • 1
    Hi there! Welcome! Do you think you could expand on that answer a little? When are those expressions used? How common are they? Thanks!
    – jsj
    Mar 22, 2012 at 8:01
  • example:"You need to part on good terms and you don't want your boss hearing rumors of your departure through the grapevine." “你应该妥善告诉你的上司你离职这一事情,而不是让你的上司通过 流言 得知这一事实。”
    – fanzhang
    Mar 22, 2012 at 8:12
  • "I think it would be better for both of us If we put those rumors to rest once and for all. " “这对我们二者都好,让这些 谣言 永埋尘土。”
    – fanzhang
    Mar 22, 2012 at 8:37
  • "So he starts spreading rumors that he is divine himself." “于是他开始散播 谣言 ,说自己是神。”
    – fanzhang
    Mar 22, 2012 at 8:37
  • 2
    @fanzhang - Can you please edit your question and add some easy to understand examples and some explanation in English.
    – going
    Mar 22, 2012 at 9:38

literally, it is 街谈巷语. But nobody will speak this word any more, it is only used in the article.

When chinese people talk a rumor, they usually use 听说. This word means "I heard", especially for rumor.


I guess 小道消息 or 坊间传闻 is closest. Others include 流言、流言蜚语、谣言。


傳聞 is the word you are looking for! ;)

It is widely used in mass media, to regular chatting as well.


I heard a different but similar phrase on a Chinese TV show.

It was: "你们听到什么风声?”

Pleco translates it into "the sough of the wind" or "rumour".

Sough apparently means "rustling" or "murmuring" in English.

  • "你们听到什么风声" is used among spies and detectives in war movies. 走漏风声 (a 成语) means leaking out information.
    – gonnastop
    Mar 18, 2012 at 6:26

The word on the street": 东家长西家短. rumors:"闲言碎语, 流言蜚语,街头传闻"

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